Oregon gillnet fishing initiative returns to the state attorney general for ballot language changes

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December 15, 2011

By Bailey Ludlam


SALEM, Oregon: An initiative effort, originally filed in 2010, has returned for the 2012 ballot but not before some ballot title changes are made.

Recently, the Oregon Supreme Court ruled that proposed initiative language must be revised.

Initiative 21, also known as "Protect Our Salmon Act," calls for a ban of Columbia River commercial salmon fishing with gillnets by non-tribal persons and allow the use of seine nets instead.

Initiative sponsors filed a challenge against the ballot title and description written by the Oregon Attorney General. They argued that the title left out the "principle" change proposed by the measure - to ban the use of gillnets in the Columbia River.[1]

The original title was stated:

Specified commercial non-tribal fishing methods/procedures changed; recreational salmon fishers ensured minimum share of catch.
Read the original text here.

Justice Jack Landau agreed with sponsors and sent the measure back to the Oregon Attorney General's office to be re-written. "In all events, the information must pertain to an identified, actual ‘effect’ of enacting the measure; it is not permissible to ’speculate about the possible effects of a proposed measure," he said.[1]

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